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Auto blogThu, 18 Apr 2013 16:03:00 EST
General Motors released its first quarter sales figures this week, reporting that it sold 2.36 million cars and trucks worldwide. That figure represents an increase of 3.6 percent when compared to the same period last year. GM's growth was attributed to many factors, including global Cadillac sales that were up 26 percent and Chevrolet posting a one percent increase over last year (this marked Chevy's tenth straight year of record global sales).
Volkswagen came in just behind GM, as the German automaker reported global sales from January through March at 2.27 million vehicles, an increase of five percent when compared to last year. While that number was strong, VW is cautioning that markets outside China and the US, such as those in Europe, are becoming a challenge as economies falter.
Yet to report sales is Toyota, current holder of the global world sales crown (the Japanese company sold 9.75 million cars last year, against 9.29 million sold by GM and 9.1 million vehicles sold by VW). Even though GM and Toyota both say they don't care who sells the most units, it is unquestionably a strong bragging point and sales equate to revenue. That said, Toyota will report its first quarter numbers next week.
The Scirocco is undoubtedly one of the better-looking models in the Volkswagen lineup, but introduced back in 2008, it's now been on the market - some markets, anyway - for the better part of six years. VW is said to have an all-new replacement in the works, but before that arrives, the German automaker has announced a facelifted version with revised styling and a new engine lineup.
Set to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show next month, the new Scirocco benefits from updated styling front and rear, high-tech exterior lighting, a revised cabin space with some throwback retro touches, some new technologies and, of course, an array of fresh wheel options ranging from 17 to 19 inches.
The updated Scirocco will be offered with a wide array of engines right from the get-go, including four gasoline options and two diesels, spanning from 125 horsepower all the way up to the 280-hp Scirocco R. The 2014 model hits European showrooms in August, but unfortunately isn't any more likely to make the transatlantic voyage Stateside than the version it replaces. Still interested? There's plenty to see in the high-res image gallery above and details in the press release below.
Looking at the current automotive landscape, especially from German makers, you quickly get the impression that less definitely isn't more. BMW alone offers its 3 Series platform in practically every segment possible, including the regular sedan and 4 Series Gran Coupe, which would seem to be direct competitors. Porsche might be the winner, though, with 20 different variants of the 911 listed for sale on its US website. However, some of this model madness might be reaching an end as companies begin cutting back spending or shifting money to other priorities.
According to Yahoo Finance, the offerings from the German automakers are up 25 percent over the past three years to over 200 models in Europe. The peak is expected to come around 2018 at 230 separate vehicles, according to consulting company PwC.
Amazingly, BMW, which is among the poster children for this model explosion, might be changing its tune. "I'm sure there will be points in the future where we look at certain cars and say, 'Maybe we need to think differently now,'" said head of sales Ian Robertson in an interview, according to Yahoo Finance. The statement certainly sounds shocking coming from a company rumored to have 23 front-wheel-drive vehicles all using a single platform on the way.